Wednesday, January 11, 2012

[Review] Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

Title: Tempest Rising {goodreads}
Authors: Tracy Deebs
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 01/09/2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury UK
RRP: $15.99
Source: Publisher sent for review
Precautions: 12+ - Violence and slight gore
Series: #1
Pages: 340
My Rating:

(From the UK PB)

Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her Californian home and hang out with her boyfriend. But Tempest is half mermaid and, as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide if she really does want to ttay on land or if she wants to give herself to the ocean like her mother did before her.

When she meets Kona, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities also hint at an other-worldly life, the lure of the sea becomes too strong and Tempest finds herself in the midst of a battle for survival. The entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

Is she brave enough, and strong enough, to help save everything?
My thoughts: 

~ Final thoughts ~

In 'Tempest Rising', expect an evocative depiction of underwater life, that highlights the characteristics--both serene and deadly--of a world so foreign. This glorious setting wraps itself around a tender story that is told by an irritating heroine whose inane naivety does more harm than good in her actions.

What shines through in this book is its vivid imagery and setting--this is a great summer read--as well as the satisfying amount of focus on oceanic mythological creatures. The exploration of betrayal and grief, family and friends, identity and self-discovery, belonging, home, love, come through in every single page.

Recommended for paranormal fans. If you're a fan of surfing, the beach and ocean, or mermaid stories this book is worth picking up. Overall I wasn't blown away, but it's not bad by any means, and I do wish to continue reading on.


Tempest, 16-going-on-17, is a beach critter whose heart resides in the surf. She's just an average teen, until one day while surfing she loses balance on the board and almost drowns due to the obvious wipeout. Tempest NEVER wipes out. On the verge of losing consciousness, she seems to grow a tail underwater, giving her the ability to make it back to the surface within a second.

Tempest can't explain what happened that day--at least not to her friends and gorgeous surfer boyfriend. But she can't ignore the changes that are going on. Like her mother, who disappeared five years earlier, Tempest is part-mermaid. She has a choice: stay on land with all that she knows, or join the world that her mother (supposedly) left her to become part of.

An ancient battle of intense hardship and turmoil beckons her. She may just be the answer to help stop the war that has gone on far too long. Her name isn't Tempest for nothing.

I've always loved being near or in water, so books that are set at the beach or in the ocean are welcome anytime. Deebs' portrayal of the underwater world evoked in me a desire to go scuba-diving or something. I'd love to see the "phosphorescent shades of blue and green and red and yellow" that light up and can be seen for miles (167). The descriptions are beautiful and were never sparse or in excess; there was always just the right amount of visuals.

The plot unfolds pretty quickly--I can say I was never bored. The book mentions and describes mermaids, selkies and other sea creatures which just made the whole setting more believable. I liked that Tempest focused on mermaids being the only part-human sea creature, because I'm sure that's what many people know only of. There are some deadly and evil creatures in the book, capable of doing nasty things. Think along the lines of decapitation and impalement. Action and peril persist for the last half of the book, with the first half setting a good foundation of what comes later. I deem this book 'unputdownable' for the last half of the book.

There is a love triangle, kind of, in this book. But it's not like the whole two-guys-fighting-for-the-girl. The girl, Tempest, is already with someone--Max. They have a rocky on-and-off relationship, but there are grounds of deep trust and caring laid out firmly. Until Tempest meets Kona, a mysterious surfer guru whose skills are phenomenal. I can't say I loved the romance aspect of this book, but I was satisfied with the way Tempest's relationship with Max ended up. As for Kona . . . I don't know. I wasn't swept away by their romance or anything. It was a tad too insta-romance-y for my tastes, but I'm sure others found it all irresistible.

I liked the characters, for the most part. I don't even want to talk about Tempest too much, since she irritated me way too many times, but she's a bit of a Mary Sue and whiny and immature. And now, a list of characters I enjoyed:

- Tempest's surfer guy friends ~ With them, Tempest is just one of the guys. I'm mentioning them collectively because they don't have established, distinct personalities or backstories--they're pretty minor characters.

- Tempest's dad ~ He's got such a chilled personality (like Raymundo from Rocket Power!), and is also faithfully dedicated to his wife, despite her leaving him. He's got that unyielding strength that is pretty beautiful.

- The enemy!!! Haha. Well, at least they kept it interesting.

What continued to disturb me about this book was the writing style. It's in the choppy rhythm of the sentences. Example: "The humming inside me grew worse, took over me, until I felt like one huge, vibrating guitar string. I didn't know what it was, hadn't felt anything like it before." (265) The little sentence additives (the extra details within the commas) clawed at me. These sentences actually read like song lyrics (try it). It would have been fine if they didn't find their way to nearly every single paragraph. I only noticed this in the second half of the book--I actually liked the way the first half was written.

One thing I'm still deciding on is the ending. I'm thinking I didn't like it that much. There really wasn't too much consideration on her family, and the way it was written, it felt a bit all over the place and hazy. Or maybe that was just me.


First lines
"I was ten the first time I saw her. I remember this clearly, because my mother left exactly two weeks later--on my eleventh birthday. (Prologue)

Favourite lines
"I still don't know what possessed me to do what I did next. Ignoring the rain, ignoring the cold, ignoring my chattering teeth and half-frozen appendages, I climbed out of the car and let the rain and the wind wash over me.
       It tore through my hair, whipped against my tender skin until tears of pain rolled down my face. Lightning rent the sky, flashed above the ocean like a bomb exploding mere moments before thunder shook the ground. And still I stood there, refusing to get back in the car where it was safe.
       My name isn't Tempest for nothing." (p. 49)

* cheapest Australian e-store price


Fishpond * | Readings | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson | Borders | The Nile


All links from Booko, because I'm too lazy to search each individual store anymore.


US Cover
Other reviews of 'Tempest Rising'

The Story Siren: "Tempest Rising is FINtastic!!" {link}
Books with Bite: 5 stars {link}
Nice Girls Read Books: 4 stars {link}
IB Book Blogging: 4 fairies {link}

I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

Challenge: ---

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